Jacob and Rachel

Key Verse: “Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.”
—Genesis 29:20

Selected Scripture:
Genesis 29

AS JACOB CONTINUED HIS journey following the dream (lesson of October 14), he eventually came to Haran and the well which the people of the area used to water their flocks of sheep each day. As he talked with those gathered at the well, Jacob saw Rachel recognizing her as the daughter of his mother’s brother Laban, coming with her father’s sheep. He rolled the stone from the well’s mouth and watered the flock of his uncle. (Gen. 29:1-10) Rachel, after realizing who Jacob was, went quickly to tell her father, who ran to meet his nephew. They embraced, and gathered together at the home of Laban. Jacob, staying there for a period of time, began to work for his uncle, serving him and his flocks.

After about a month, Laban determined that it was time to talk to his newly acquired helper about wages. The Scriptures state, “Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be? And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured. And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter. And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me.” (vss. 15-19) So it was agreed that Jacob would work for Laban seven years, and at the end of that time he would be given Rachel to be his wife.

Our Key Verse gives clear indication of the deep love Jacob had for Rachel. The years of service he gave to Laban were but mere moments in comparison to the love that he had for his future wife. What a lesson of principle this is for all of God’s consecrated people! We should have such love for him and for his son Jesus, and such a desire to be faithful to our covenant of sacrifice, such a burning zeal to be found in the character image of Christ, that the experiences of the present time, no matter how difficult or trying, seem just as moments compared to the prospects of being eternally with our Heavenly Father and with his Son. As Apostle Paul says, “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”—II Cor. 4:17

At the end of the seven years, rather than give Rachel to be Jacob’s wife, Laban gave him Leah, who was older, and stated that in order for Jacob to have Rachel, he would have to work for him another seven years. Though disappointed, Jacob agreed to Laban’s proposal, and after another seven years was given Rachel, who became his wife along with Leah. The account states that Jacob “loved also Rachel more than Leah.” (Gen. 29:30) Another picture is shown here. Leah, who was loved less, was a picture of fleshly Israel, whereas Rachel pictured the Gospel church—spiritual Israel. It is the church who will receive the most honored place in Christ’s coming kingdom, a heavenly position of glory, honor, and immortality, while fleshly Israel, along with the rest of mankind, although blessed richly, will receive an earthly blessing, if obedient, of everlasting life.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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